Michael Kamen


Michael Kamen’s extraordinary ability to straddle the line between rock ‘n’ roll and classical music served him well in an era when the two sensibilities were so frequently merged. He came from both worlds: He studied oboe at Juilliard while co-founding the New York Rock and Roll Ensemble; he wrote several ballets yet frequently collaborated with such popular-music giants as Pink Floyd, Queen, Metallica, Sting and Kate Bush.

He received Oscar nominations for two songs: “Everything I Do (I Do It for You)” from ROBIN HOOD: PRINCE OF THIEVES (1991), which hit no. 1 on the Billboard pop charts, and “Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman?” from DON JUAN DeMARCO (1995). He also scored hits with “All for Love” from THE THREE MUSKETEERS (1993) and “It’s Probably Me” from LETHAL WEAPON 3 (1992).

Kamen’s most popular films were the Kevin Costner ROBIN HOOD, which earned the composer a Golden Globe nomination; the four films in the LETHAL WEAPON franchise (1987, ’89, ’92, ’98), which featured guitarist Eric Clapton and saxophonist David Sanborn; and the first three DIE HARD films (1988, ’90, ’95). Other notable scores included BRAZIL (1985), THE ADVENTURES OF BARON MUNCHAUSEN (1989), the first X-MEN (2000) and the miniseries BAND OF BROTHERS (2001). After scoring MR. HOLLAND’S OPUS (1995), Kamen and star Richard Dreyfuss co-founded the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation, which provides musical instruments to schools around the country. He died in 2003 at the age of 55.

–Jon Burlingame